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Election season brings special visitors to Delhi

This is not Abdul Qaiyum Pradhan’s first visit to Delhi. A farmer from Uttar Pradesh,he says: “I came in 2002 and 2006 before the Assembly elections...

New Delhi |
March 30, 2009 3:00:35 am

Election season attracts to Delhi ‘migratory birds’ of a different feather,lured by that magical quality of politics: hope. VINAY SITAPATI profiles three seasonal visitors

It’s about the minority

This is not Abdul Qaiyum Pradhan’s first visit to Delhi. A farmer from Uttar Pradesh,he says: “I came in 2002 and 2006 before the Assembly elections,and in 2004 before the last general elections,but never got a ticket. This time I am hopeful about a Congress ticket from Deoria in UP.” He has been waiting to meet and convince Congress Legislative Party leader Pramod Tiwari and Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi. The Congress insists every ticket seeker produce a résumé. Abdul Qaiyum’s one-page CV comes with an annexure — a table representing the caste/religious composition of his constituency. Muslims form 22 per cent of the population in his constituency,he points out. Yet,the Congress has given the ticket to a Yadav,who are a mere 6 per cent.

When in Delhi,he stays in the UP Bhawan or with his brother in Shalimar Bagh. Though he has come to Delhi several times,he has never taken in the sights and sounds of Delhi.

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“I come straight to Akbar Road,and wait,” he says.

Making an impact

Bhanu Chander Nagarajan grew up in Madurai and Chennai. “My family expected me to be a part of the rat race — engineering,a Master’s degree from the US,and secure a job with a multinational.” But after volunteering for tsunami relief in a small village in Tamil Nadu,he realised that “at the most I could impact 50 people; in politics,I can impact a lot more”. A chance meeting with the head of the BJP’s information technology cell meant he is now working in the slick BJP war-room on Tughlaq Crescent Road. The war-room has a deck full of laptops being manned by young interns and this Chennai man will be in Delhi till the elections get over,handling policy briefs,Advani’s speeches and other content on the website. If the BJP comes to power though,he might just stay a little longer.

Song of praise

Phul Kumar doesn’t want a Congress ticket. He wants someone to hear him play the flute. And that someone is Archana Dalmia,Sonia Gandhi’s personal assistant,for whom he has composed a special tune. Kumar is a Haryana government employee who travels from village to village playing the flute in support of Manmohan Singh,Sonia Gandhi and Bhupinder Singh Hooda. This is Phul Kumar’s first visit to Delhi and he says he has come all the way on foot. His compositions,he tells the listeners,are in praise of Shruti,daughter of Haryana Forest and Tourism Minister Kiran Chaudhary who wants a Congress ticket from Haryana.

While waiting for an audience with Dalmia at the Congress’s Akbar Road headquarters,Phul Singh frequently breaks into a melody,to the delight of other ticket seekers lounging on the lawns outside the party offices. He has been waiting for the last several days but is yet to meet anyone.

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